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A judge’s decision to reveal that a sex discrimination case ended in a “multimillion dollar settlement” has drawn the ire of the 2d U.S Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court called the public revelation of the settlement between plaintiff Virginia Gambale and Deutsche Bank A.G. by Southern District of New York Judge Harold Baer a “serious abuse of discretion,” but said nothing could be done to remedy the error. “We simply do not have the power, even were we of the mind to use it if we had, to make what has thus become public private again,” said 2d Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack in Gambale v, Deutsche Bank A.G., No. 03-7621. “The genie is out of the bottle, albeit because of what we consider to be the district court’s error.” Gambale, a former managing director who was a partner in the Deutsche Bank Capital Partners unit, sued in 2002. She claimed that she was passed over for promotion because she is a woman and that the bank maintained a work environment hostile to women. The two sides entered into a confidential settlement in 2003. At a settlement conference, Baer “wondered aloud why the public should not know about discrimination at a major banking institution,” the 2d Circuit said. Baer had unsuccessfully pushed the two sides to make the information public. He ordered the unsealing of several documents, including a study of gender diversity in the bank. The documents did not disclose the settlement amount, but Baer’s order said: “On the eve of trial, the parties agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement.”

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